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Life Arts    H4'ed 6/14/09

What Bees Want. Save the Clover, Save the Bees.

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Springtime brings bees, or at least it should. The above photo shows one zooming over a clover flower. I used a handheld Canon A639 set to micro close-up. I have seen mostly bumble bees on our rhododendrons, nursery flowers, and most other blooms, but when clover, an aromatic weed, was allowed to bloom in our yard, the honeybees dropped right by. They love clover, but most yards are cut too short to allow clover to thrive. That is good for bare foot kids who do not want to step on honeybees, but bad for bees. You think about it, a lot of bee habitat does not fit the short-shorn Homes-and-Garden criteria.

This is one of those brown-backed bumble bees descending on a lavender flower. Pretty fat; looks like Mothra. It is a lot more aggressive than an ordinary black bumblebee. In fact, I got attacked and stung by three, one time, when I was on my roof and did not notice they had bored a hole in my wall for a nest. I don’t know what they are, but they act like Africanized bumble bees.

The honeybees disappear for weeks, then visit when weeds like clover bloom. I have seen them on commercial flowers, too, but the weeds seem more prolific, in the siren syrup nectar scene.

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Conceived on west coast, born on east coast, returned to northwest spawning grounds. Never far from water.

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